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View Diary: Can we stop an object from hitting the earth? (108 comments)

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  •  Then you've just superheated the atmosphere... (0+ / 0-)

    One of the aftereffects of a major impact is the atmospheric heating caused by the material blasted up into suborbital trajectories coming back in. All you're doing by breaking it up is skipping the intermediate impact stage and doing it directly.

    And even the "small" fragments...the recent airburst was estimated at being 300 kilotons. Tunguska was 10-15 megatons, and would have destroyed a metropolitan area if it had exploded over it.

    Now imagine dozens or hundreds of these things going off at once. Congratulations, no craters to mar the ruins.

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